The power of the Web is in its universality. Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect.
Source: Tim Berners-Lee, W3C Director and inventor of the World Wide Web.

Since October 2004 Nature Publishing Group (NPG) sites have been constructed to be accessible to a wider range of people than before, including those using assistive technology. NPG websites built to be accessible are now easier to use, quicker to download, display better across a wide range of devices and platforms, and are simpler for producers to update and modify.

Below is information about some of the features we have implemented. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any problems accessing our content. We have tried to cater for as many people as possible but there may be occasions when we can further improve our accessibility.


Accessibility features


Changing the font size

Accessible NPG websites allow you to customize the font size to suit your personal preferences. Most browsers will allow you to change the font size. Below is a screenshot of Internet Explorer's "text size" menu option - most browsers have a similar feature - usually somewhere in the "View" menu. Please see the "help" section in your browser for more details on customisation.

font size can be changed using your browser's menus - in Internet Explorer this can be found in the following menu: View > Text size


"Liquid" page layout

Our user friendly "liquid" page layout ensures that our websites stretch to fill the space available to them, meaning that no matter what your browser window size or screen resolution, the website adapts itself to the space available. This means there is less horizontal scrolling at small resolutions, and should make the site easier to browse with a screen magnifier.


We've positioned jump links at the top of the page so that you can quickly navigate to the most important sections of the page. This should be of use if you use a screen magnifier or speech browser, or are using a small screen resolution.


Alternative content

For those members of our audience who use screenreader or speech browser software, we've provided sensible alternative text for images where this alternative text will aid your understanding of the webpage. If you discover an image that does not have suitable alternative text, please contact us.


Logical tab order and page layout

We've built pages so that it's easier to tab through the links - the content area is reached immediately after the header, making it easier to move around within a site. The jump links at the top of the page still provide fast and easy access to the main areas of every page, including the navigation.



Our pages use structured headers to aid legibility. The first header on the page is the main content header followed by any appropriate sub-headers, then by headers for the navigation areas of the site.

This aids users of certain screenreaders and speech browsers - for instance: JAWS users can type INSERT+F6 to hear all the headers on the page, or CTRL+INSERT+ENTER to quickly navigate through the page by skipping to the next header.



We are no longer using tables, except for the display of tabular data. For users of screenreaders and speech browsers, we associate headers with their respective rows and columns to aid legibility.



Forms now have their labels explicitly associated with their controls, aiding users of certain screenreaders and speech browsers.


Customizing our sites

Due to the way we are building our sites, standards compliant browser users are able to heavily customize their individual look and feel. Each of our accessible sites has a unique class on the html "body" tag, meaning you can specify your own styles for each site.



We advise the use of Adobe Acrobat™ software to read our PDFs


Older browsers

CSS, which we use for layout and design, is not fully supported by older web browsers, resulting in unpredictable display. To deal with this problem we have hidden the CSS from these older browsers that do not conform to web standards. However, even if you use one of these browsers, you will still be able to access all of our content presented with a simplified layout.

Modern browsers can be downloaded from the sites below.

If you are unable or unwilling to upgrade your browser or if you are prevented from seeing our CSS for other reasons, we hope that you will enjoy the more basic interface. Although not as visually appealing as the CSS interface, it should be just as usable.


Text only browsers

We have take steps to ensure that users of text only browsers find it easier to use our sites than before, with the addition of "jump" links and features such as horizontal rules to visually separate the content. Site navigation appears after the main content, and is constructed using lists to make it more comprehensible.